The Children's War
In his fourth collection, C. P. Boyko turnshis keen eye to the question of power—in schools and on campuses, in doctor’s offices and boardrooms, in triage tents and on the battlefield. A high-school math teacher tries too hard to be liked; childhood friends grow up and go to war for very different reasons; for purposes not entirely medical, a dentist hypnotizes a patient; management and workers struggle for control of a faltering factory; infantries comprised exclusively of women meet in battle; and undergraduates occupy a university president’s offfice, rallying beneath the flag of moral outrage.
Moving effortlessly through a range of styles, from contemporary realist fiction and episodic adventures to three-act plays and polyvocal narratives, Boyko’s chameleon talents reveal the thread that binds his disparate characters and plots: the hunger to hold power and all the ways we are consumed by it. Clear-eyed but not cynical, satirical without being sarcastic, The Children’s War is as entertaining as it is insightful.